Is anyone out there awake? I'm beginning to suspect that the recent end-of-summer heat wave has lulled many of us into a peaceful snooze, so much so that we have become virtually oblivious to some rather important and far-reaching developments.
By any standards, the headlines of the past few weeks should have sparked a furious public outcry, accompanied by stormy demonstrations, irate parliamentary debates and massive protests and letter-writing campaigns.
But there has been none of that, nary a peep, as the prime minister of the State of Israel secretly negotiates away much of the country and its strategic assets.
What has happened to our sense of outrage? In the wake of his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last week, reports surfaced that Ehud Olmert had discussed wide-ranging concessions such as dividing Jerusalem, uprooting dozens of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and forgoing Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount.
The media even published what was said to be a copy of a two-page document outlining Olmert's willingness to cross the few remaining "red lines" Israel still has in what is clearly a transparent attempt to salvage his increasingly shaky political career.
With corruption investigations swirling around him and the final Winograd report on last summer's Lebanon war due out relatively soon, Olmert seems to have concluded that the only way to rescue himself from political oblivion is at the country's expense.
THINK ABOUT this for a second. We have a prime minister about as popular as acute inflammatory acne going behind the nation's back, making fateful decisions that will endanger the future of the state and agreeing to establish a Palestinian terrorist entity alongside our country's shrunken borders. And he's doing this not because it is in the nation's interest, but for his own narrow political gain.
And yet, it has been greeted by little more than a yawn. Instead, we sit back quietly, go on with our lives and do nothing as our government accelerates its head-long rush toward disaster.
Even the ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli towns and villages seem to evoke barely more than passing public interest. On Monday, Islamic Jihad fired over half a dozen Kassams into southern Israel, mockingly describing them as "a gift for the opening of the school year." One of those "gifts" slammed into the courtyard of a day care center for toddlers in Sderot, nearly causing a disaster.
This kind of incident should have shocked us to the very core of our being, but the fact is Palestinian rocket attacks have become so common, thanks to the government's lack of response, that they hardly register on our collective conscience any more.
AND WHILE we are on the subject of remaining silent, how about the hush that has come over us as we watch the Muslim Wakf rip apart the Temple Mount and bulldoze our nation's priceless religious and cultural heritage? Israel may be sovereign on the Mount, but it is clear from our television screens who runs the show. In defiance of the law, the Wakf has been openly and brazenly digging a trench three foot deep from north to south along the Mount, in the process destroying precious artifacts that may date back to the First Temple period.
Our holiest site is being vandalized in broad daylight, while our government and police look on, refusing to step in and halt the destruction.
Were an Israeli newspaper to publish a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, it would invariably elicit a greater outcry than that which has greeted the wanton physical devastation being carried out by Muslims on the Temple Mount.
It is as if the people of Israel have gone off to a slumber party, tucking themselves snugly into sleeping bags and wiling away the hours as though we have not a care in the world.
But the truth is that everything this nation holds dear is coming under attack. Our freedom, our future, our land and our legacy are all being pummeled and no one seems ready to stand up and do anything about it.
IF YOU aren't walking around outraged, then you must not be paying attention. So put down the sports pages, put aside those DVDs and start following the news. We must take to the streets and rouse ourselves from this slumber. Our apathy and indifference are what enable this failed government to continue to stumble toward catastrophe.
Today it is Sderot under fire. But don't be surprised when Kfar Saba, Netanya and even Tel Aviv come under attack.
The alarm clock is ringing, if only we will hear. Now, more than ever, is the time to get up and put the nightmare of terror, weakness and retreat behind us, once and for all.